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Poster: fenario80 Date: Apr 20, 2011 12:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

I don't like the big Pig tunes and never have. I just don't listen to them. Now, a Hard To Handle, Easy Wind, Smokestack Lightning, etc. - I'm all for those, but the shorter the better.

And I'm definitely in favor of everybody exiting all closets and wardrobes (little Ray Davies nod there).

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Apr 20, 2011 12:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

Note that fenario said the "big" Pig tunes... I've never liked 'em either. On the other hand, Hard to Handle can really jam out, let it off the leash. Always liked Mr. Charlie, nice and spunky, like a short haircut.

I never got to see Pig live, but the few videos I have seen leave me unconvinced... was he really that dynamic that you could call him a leader? He looks catatonic most of the time, even when singing lead.

And I don't mean to be "bashing", just wondering. Every band member contributed something great to a wonderful stew.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 20, 2011 1:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

Pigpen's not well-represented on video. In the 4/17/72 show, he's actually quite weak. And in the Festival Express film from '70 he's also fairly sedate.
If we had film from those all-night Fillmore East or Port Chester shows where the audience would be howling all through Lovelight, I think it would be easier to understand Pigpen's strength.

Blair Jackson said, "It's hard to explain Pigpen's magic to deadheads who never saw him perform, who never saw him work a crowd. Tapes don't capture his essence, because a lot of it was the way he moved and the way the band grooved behind him... He had an incredibly powerful presence."
Jon McIntire: "I don't know if the younger deadheads can get Pigpen, because the documents aren't really there... When you watched Pigpen playing the crowd - and he played the crowd very well in those raps - he did it in such a way that he evoked a very warm response."
Bob Weir: "You had to see his cute little dance steps and stuff like that to catch the whole impact of the Mighty Pig."
(Phil Lesh suggested that maybe it was one of Pigpen's little dances that got the audience hooting in the 8/6/71 Hard to Handle, though I'd like to believe it was Garcia.)

Jackson's description of his first Lovelight: "He danced a little dance, and the band started building a ferocious R&B groove behind him. The jam rose and receded a few more times - and finally he led the band into the big, big buildup at the end, shouting and screaming and testifying. 'Little bit higher! Shine on me! Turn on your lovelight!' And on it went until it exploded into a blast of noisy chords and drumshots and feedback that just about ripped the top of my head off, leaving me sweaty and breathless. I guess you can say it worked."

Then again, you could argue that an audience of stoned teens in 1970 might not have been too discriminating.

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Apr 20, 2011 2:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

I'll have to take it on faith... thank you sir.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Apr 20, 2011 2:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

Thank you, careful reader! Yes, that is exactly what I meant. I don't like the big jammed out Pigpen "rap" numbers, but give me a 45 minute Dark Star anytime ...

Also I did not exclude any of Pigpen's other fine blues numbers - most of which I love - I just didn't have the time or inclination to list them all; hence "etc.".

Four or five minutes is about as much blues as I want to hear at one time, and I definitely do not enjoy listening to Pig verbally abuse his audience. There is just no fun in that for me.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 20, 2011 4:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

Ha--yup, it's always good to find someone's actually reading it as written; I got you right off, but of course, you were largely in agreement, so it made sense to me...I am not sure why someone would suggest you might be a troll though--maybe that was just a joke.

I do think that SDH has a pt about "why" what I described happened; ie, because the Forum really took off in 06 & 07 (eg, recall Dire talking about how "slow" it was in yrs prior to those), and many of those folks are still around, it was only a matter of time before we went from "lets all be nice" (ie, our posts about the DEAD) to "well, we've covered EVERYTHING...what about things we don't like?"

It seems a natural progression as we all became more and more comfortable (or bored out of our minds?) with each other.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 20, 2011 12:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

The Dead must be one of the few groups whose fans find each other's musical tastes insane. "The shorter the better," indeed...

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Apr 20, 2011 12:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

"The Dead must be one of the few groups whose fans find each other's musical tastes insane."

I'm not sure if you are planning on writing a book someday and that is the driving force for all of your research, however if you are, i would suggest that this should be the opening line to such a book. Brilliant observation.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Apr 20, 2011 2:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

Now that you mention it, that is pretty funny - but I thought when writing it that I was pretty clearly talking only about the big blues numbers. At any rate, that is what I meant.

Give me an epic Dark Star or Other One every day, please, and also all those great little Pigpen blues numbers, but 15 to 20 minutes of a sloppy, half-drunk white blues singer doling out verbal abuse just does nothing but irritate me.

There are a few exceptions - elsewhere in this thread someone mentioned the Good Lovin' from "Ladies and Gentlemen." I've enjoyed that one several times, but generally speaking I'm not ever gonna listen to a Pigpen Lovelight or Good Lovin'.

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Poster: Zaorish Date: Apr 20, 2011 12:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

It's entirely possible we are being trolled, as well :)

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Apr 20, 2011 1:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

Seriously! I am so confused. Is this a Grateful Dead forum?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 20, 2011 12:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

Yup; and even the few I do, like Operator, a la acoustic variety, are few and far between (eg, Katie Mae just doesn't cut it for me, etc). Easy Wind and Operator are about the only ones...

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Poster: Zaorish Date: Apr 20, 2011 12:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

Wow, you guys don't like Mr Charlie or The Stranger? Those are a couple of my very favorite reasons to listed to 1972.

I view the Pig tunes not literally, but in the same way I view a song like "Brown-eyed Women" or "Dire Wolf" They seem to refer to a time around the turn of the century or earlier, but in a hazy, nostalgic, even cutesy way, and yet with the interesting complement of more modern electric instrumentation and jamming. I view the Pig tunes in this same light. Don't listen to Lovelight as a literal exhortation to go and grab some "box-back knitties" or "big black titties" whichever your hear, but rather as an semi-nostalgic, semi-ironic update of an older cultural item.

If you want to criticize Pig because he sounds like he's trying to sound like a black man and he's not, that's a somewhat more accurate criticism, but I still feel it jibes with the Dead's general half-nostalgic old-timey feel of their songs.

Plus yeah, song lyrics are song lyrics.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Apr 20, 2011 12:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

Love Two Souls. Mr. Charlie? Not so much. Its not just the lyrics, the music doesn't do much for me. Same for Chinatown Shuffle. In some ways they kind of remind me of Brent tunes in that they don't quite fit. Operator and Easy Wind sound much more like Grateful Dead songs. Odd though, they didn't play either very often, so I suspect Pig and the boys didn't hear it the way i do.